Bobby Jindal wants the Republican Party to look less like the Republican Party

“We’ve got to make sure that we are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, big anything. We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), urging Republicans to “stop being the stupid party.”

Andrew Sullivan remarks: “I’ll believe him when he names Limbaugh as one critical source of the problem. I’ll believe him even more if he were able to find space within the GOP for those who support marriage equality, efforts to combat climate change and a non-absolutist position on abortion rights. But he cannot change theology in a religious party – especially when he is one of its high priests.”

And Charles Johnson laughs at this newly found “enlightenment” from the guy who mocked volcano monitoring: “Politico’s article doesn’t mention it, of course, but Gov. Jindal is rather infamous at LGF for pushing the very stupidest of stupid right wing positions; he enthusiastically promoted and signed into law a bill in Louisiana that legitimizes the teaching of creationism under the disguise of “academic freedom.” Jindal’s promotion of creationism outraged scientists across America; one scientific organization actually cancelled a major convention in protest. More recently, Jindal has also promoted legislation that allows Louisiana state funding to go to private religious schools that teach creationism and all kinds of other anti-science mind rot. And that’s not all, by a long shot. While a college student, Jindal took part in an exorcism that he claimed cured a woman of cancer

Bob Moser thinks Jindal isn’t calling for actual change, just a re-branding: “But beyond embracing some parts of Dodd-Frank and the “Volcker Rule,” Jindal—who’s been a right-wing governor, gutting public schools and slashing funds for hospitals—basically limited his idea of change to rejiggering the party’s image. His solution, beneath the frank talk, comes down to figuring out new ways to make Republicans once again look like a populist party—a new spin on the faux-populism Republicans used, from Nixon to Bush, to convince working- and middle-class folks they were on their side while working to make the wealthy wealthier.”

And Jed Lewison lists all the conservative beliefs Jindal has no problem with (even though the voters do have a problem with them) and summarizes that Jindal doesn’t want to change the substance of GOP ideals — he’s just calling for a change in tone.

###

On Mitt Romney’s douchey phonecall yesterday, Political Wire reports:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) “forcefully rejected Mitt Romney’s claim that he lost because of President Obama’s ‘gifts‘ to minorities and young voters,” Politico reports.

Said Jindal: “No, I think that’s absolutely wrong. Two points on that: One, we have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote. And, secondly, we need to continue to show how our policies help every voter out there achieve the American Dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children an opportunity to be able to get a great education. … So, I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think that’s absolutely wrong.”

Related: 

Mitt Romney describes the sad he haz

Morning Bunker Report: Monday 4.9.2012

————————————-WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY

Neo-Nazis are reportedly patrolling Sanford, Fla. where unarmed teen Trayvon Martin was shot and killed on Feb. 26. THE FOX ‘NEWS’ WAR ON INTELLIGENCE: According to a Fox “News” affiliate, Neo-Nazis are ‘a Civil Rights group’! — A Fox Orlando affiliate decribed Neo-Nazis as “a civil rights group” on a television broadcast and online. The group of Neo-Nazis, known as the National Socialist Movement, has been conducting armed patrols of the streets of Sanford, Florida, the town where Trayvon Marting was shot dead. The Fox Orlando affiliate, WOFL, aired a shockingly uncritical report of the groups activities. The Fox reporter introduced the group by saying, “There’s another civil rights group in town.” She also conducts an interview with the group’s leader, Jeff Schoep, without challenging any of his claims about the nature and mission of the group. [image: nydailynews.com]

Bob Schieffer Falsely Claims Health Reform Forces Churches To “Buy Birth Control Pills For Their Employees” — In an interview with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Bob Schieffer, host of Face the Nation on CBS, falsely claimed that the Affordable Care Act required religiously-affiliated institutions — including churches — to “buy birth control pills for their employees.” In fact, churches are exempted from the mandate, and contraceptive services will be provided by health insurance plans, not religiously-affiliated employers. Schieffer is misinforming his viewers when he says that the mandate for contraceptive coverage applies to churches. The rule regarding contraceptive coverage specifically exempts actual houses of worship. Furthermore, the rule doesn’t force any religiously-affiliated institution to purchase birth control pills or distribute them its employees. [...] As Sibelius made clear in her statement, Catholic universities and hospitals aren’t going to be buying birth control for their employees any more than they will be buying blood pressure tests and dialysis. Institutions that provide health insurance as an employment benefit are offering just that – health insurance. When a person with employer-provided coverage goes to the doctor or pharmacist, we normally think of their bills as being paid for not by their employer but by their health insurance plan.

Tennessee seeks to question evolution in bill — The measure states that “teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.” It also says the legislation “shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine.” In a letter to lawmakers, the Tennessee members of the National Academy of Sciences argued that the bill would “miseducate students, harm the state’s national reputation and weaken its efforts to compete in a science-driven global economy.” The Tennessee Education Association, meanwhile, blasted the “unnecessary legislation.” But Haslam has already indicated he would “probably” sign the measure into law. The Discovery Institute, whose model legislation inspired the bill, hailed the passage of a text that “promotes good science education by protecting the academic freedom of science teachers to fully and objectively discuss controversial scientific topics, like evolution.”

NEVER FORGET! – Some sad news: The tea party may have won Republicans the House of Representatives in 2010, but in 2012, it’s looking like it could help Democrats retain the White House. Now nearly three years old, the tea party has fallen out of favor with Americans, and Democrats are prepared to use it against Republicans in this year’s elections. A recent Fox News poll showed just 30 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the tea party, compared with 51 percent who viewed it unfavorably. [...] I don’t want the Tea Party to fall out of favor with pundits, for two reasons. Pundits were, in my view, always ”the movement’s” most enthusiastic promoters, and I think Republicans who have to get reelected should have to wear the Tea Party they embraced like a badge. Actions should have consequences, and I’m all about taking responsibility. [...] These images of the Tea Party are an important part of the historical record of the Republican Party.

———————————————————–——PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS

DNC Chair Slams Wis. Gov. Walker for Equal Pay Repeal, says GOP ‘callous and insensitive’ towards women – “The policies that have come out of the Republican Party, saying that we should have a debate again over contraception and whether we should have access to it and it should be affordable, saying that — like Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin, you know, he tried to quietly repeal the Equal Pay Act. Women aren’t going to stand for that. Governor Walker just signed a bill that repeals the equal pay law they had in Wisconsin for years. You have Republicans who have engaged themselves for the entire Congress trying to redefine rape as only being forcible rape, defunding Planned Parenthood and family planning programs. The Lilly Ledbetter Act — the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act put teeth behind the notion that women deserve equal pay for equal work. That was the first bill the President Obama signed into law. The overwhelming majority of Republicans serving in Congress voted against it. So, the focus of the Republican Party on turning back the clock for women really is something that is unacceptable and shows how callous and insensitive they are towards women’s priorities.” 

“I think that there is oftentimes the impulse to suggest that if the two parties are disagreeing, then they’re equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and an equivalence is presented — which reinforces I think people’s cynicism about Washington generally. [The debate over deficit reduction] is not one of those situations where there’s an equivalence. I’ve got some of the most liberal Democrats in Congress who were prepared to make significant changes to entitlements that go against their political interests, and who said they were willing to do it.  And we couldn’t get a Republican to stand up and say, we’ll raise some revenue, or even to suggest that we won’t give more tax cuts to people who don’t need them.”President Obama on bipartisanship at the AP lunch

  • John Cole said this about bipartisanship and today’s GOP:“I really don’t understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax. If you can figure out a way to split the difference there and find a meal you will both enjoy, you can probably figure out how bipartisanship is going to work the next few years.” [via]

The Gullible Center – So, can we talk about the Paul Ryan phenomenon? And yes, I mean the phenomenon, not the man. Mr. Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and the principal author of the last two Congressional Republican budget proposals, isn’t especially interesting. He’s a garden-variety modern G.O.P. extremist, an Ayn Rand devotee who believes that the answer to all problems is to cut taxes on the rich and slash benefits for the poor and middle class. [...] The Ryan cult was very much on display last week, after President Obama said the obvious: the latest Republican budget proposal, a proposal that Mitt Romney has avidly embraced, is a “Trojan horse” — that is, it is essentially a fraud. “Disguised as deficit reduction plans, it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country.”The reaction from many commentators was a howl of outrage. The president was being rude; he was being partisan; he was being a big meanie. Yet what he said about the Ryan proposal was completely accurate. [...]  So you can see the problem these commentators face. To admit that the president’s critique is right would be to admit that they were snookered by Mr. Ryan, who is the same as he ever was. More than that, it would call into question their whole centrist shtick — for the moral of my story is that Mr. Ryan isn’t the only emperor who turns out, on closer examination, to be naked. Hence the howls of outrage, and the attacks on the president for being “partisan.” For that is what people in Washington say when they want to shout down someone who is telling the truth.

(3/22) Thursday morning’s partially interesting things

1) PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS

  • Obama: Romney Is ‘Pretending He Came Up With Something Different’ Than The Individual Mandate – During an interview with American Public Media’s Marketplace, President Obama defended the individual health insurance mandate and reiterated that likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney enacted a very similar policy as governor of Massachusetts. “[W]e designed a program that actually previously had support of Republicans,” Obama told host Kai Ryssdal, “including the person who may end up being the Republican standard bearer and is now pretending like he came up with something different.” Obama also predicted that the Supreme Court — which is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of reform on Monday — will uphold the law and that “it will be very hard for any governor to explain why it is that they’re not giving people…an opportunity to get cheaper health insurance, better deal, more protections because of some ideological argument that they’re having with the president.” “And when people see that in fact it works, it makes sense — as it’s, by the way, working in Massachusetts — then I think a whole bunch of folks will say ‘Why aren’t we trying it as well?’”

2) MITT ROMNEY

  • Maddow chronicles the lies of ‘sketchy’ Mitt Romney – “This is hard to talk about in the day to day news context, because there are such low expectations for politicians being truthful and because the word ‘lie’ is both under-used and over-used to the point where everybody is a little touchy about it. But the degree to which Mr. Romney lies, all the time, about all sorts of stuff, and doesn’t seem to care when he gets caught is maybe the single most notable thing about his campaign… He lies all the time, really easily. He says things that are not true with unnerving frequency.” Watch video [image: wilwheaton]
  • Romney econ adviser posts “deport seniors” joke on blog  – Greg Mankiw, the Harvard professor who serves as one of Mitt Romney’s top economic advisers, has managed to take a shot at two key constituencies – Hispanics and seniors – in a single linked post on his popular economics blog. Under the header “A Fiscal Solution,” Mankiw, who served as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush, posted an uploaded photo of an unidentified newspaper clip, a joke, that read: “Budget Cuts: The Immigration Department will start deporting seniors (instead of illegals) in order to lower Social Security and Medicare costs. Older people are easier to catch and less likely to remember how to get home.” [...] Mankiw offered no comment other than “Thanks to the reader who sent this along” – but he clearly thought it was funny.
  • “I’m very supportive of the Ryan budget plan. It’s a bold and exciting effort on his part and on the part of the Republicans and it’s very much consistent with what I put out earlier…. I applaud it. It’s an excellent piece of work and very much needed.”Mitt Romney, 3/20/12 in Chicago

3) RICK SANTORUM

  • Rick Santorum On GOP Budget: ACCELERATE the Spending Cuts – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says he supports a House Republican budget proposal, but adds that the spending cuts included in it should be accelerated. Santorum says he would be more aggressive in achieving budget savings, including by doing away with cost-of-living increases in federal grants to states for Medicaid and food stamps. He also said that while some of the deficit cutting measures proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin would be phased in, he believes they should be imposed more quickly. [image: paxamericana]

4) REPUBLICAN WAR ON WOMEN

  • Supreme Court Conservatives Void Part of Family Leave Act – So let me see if I have this straight: first, conservatives want to make sure you get pregnant by limiting access to birth control, then force you to have the baby by limiting access to abortions, then if you get fired for taking time off to have the baby, you have no right to recourse for being fired. Great. All these things that have been litigated decades ago and established as basic rights have been inverted. The very notion upset Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg enough for her to make an unusual step: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, on behalf of Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, took the rare step of reading her dissent aloud in court. She called the result “regrettable” and observed that the Kennedy opinion “pays scant attention to the overarching aim” of the law, which was “to make it feasible for women to work while sustaining family life.” Ginsburg said that the law was a reasonable effort by congress to ensure the equal protection guaranteed by the 14th amendment for public employees facing discrimination. [image: pricklylegs]
  • Cathy McMorris-Rodgers Thinks Democrats Are Scaring Women – This woman is out of her fucking skull. How DARE she? Democrats are scaring women to drum up votes? Is she serious? Let’s take a little walk down GOP Fuckery Lane, shall we? Republicans are trying to shove foreign objects into our vaginas. Republicans are comparing us to fucking farm animals. Republicans are trying to force us to carry DEAD FETUSES in our wombs because hey—pigs and cows do it! Continued…

5) REPUBLICAN WAR ON THE 99% / PROTECTING THE ONE PERCENT

  • Paul Krugman: Flim-Flam Fever – Way back in 2010 I declared that Paul Ryan — who was rapidly becoming the darling of the “fiscal responsibility” crowd — was a fraud, a flim-flam man. [...] His latest budget proposal has received some harsh critiques. It calls for huge tax cuts, supposedly offset by closing loopholes and ending tax expenditures — except that in a long report he fails to name a single tax expenditure that he would cut. It assumes drastic cuts in discretionary spending, basically eliminating everything except defense. And over the medium term, of course, it’s a plan to savage the poor while giving big tax breaks to the rich. So actually two questions: are people finally willing to concede that Ryan is not now and has never been remotely serious? And — I know this is probably far too much to ask — are they going to do a bit of soul-searching over how they got snookered by this obvious charlatan? [image: liberalsarecool]
  • The House Budget Committee last night approved Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget by one vote, with two Republicans voting against it. [The Hill]
  • AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued a statement condemning the extreme right-wing budget proposed by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI)“Just as Republican governors and state legislators are assaulting the rights of working Americans under the guise of budget crises, Rep. Ryan and Republican leaders in Congress are using the federal budget to further their own political agendas. Their credo is that tax giveaways to the super rich and Wall Street should be paid for on the backs of working people. They are holding the federal government hostage, along with hundreds of thousands of jobs and the services millions rely on, while simultaneously proposing irresponsible budget cuts. It is clear that they are not concerned with fiscal responsibility, but rather undermining their political opponents. This is simply further evidence of their determination to protect their friends on Wall Street at the expense of American jobs, seniors, our children and our future. As we recover from the worst economic crisis of our time, cuts to essential programs threaten to push us back into recession, or even depression. Shame on those Republicans more worried about the politics of their choices than the economic consequences.” 
  • Randon thought – I know whenever I, for example, notice a 60+ year old woman cleaning my hotel room, my first thought is “best raise the Social Security age to 70. Also, too, cut the benefits.”

6) MISC

  • NOM Launches Petty Boycott Of Starbucks Over Marriage Equality - A convenient excuse to cover up its crushing loss in New Hampshire yesterday, the National Organization for Marriage has launched a “Dump Starbucks” campaign in protest of the company’s support for marriage equality. The boycott’s website launched shortly after Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz rebuffed NOM’s complaints at a shareholders’ meeting yesterday: SCHULTZ: I think Starbucks has many constituents, and from time to time we are going to make a decision that we think is consistent with the heritage and the tradition of the company that is perhaps maybe inconsistent with one group’s view of the world… We made that decision through the lens of humanity and being the kind of company that embraces diversity.
  • Report Proves Health Reform Is Here To Stay: 49 States Have Already Taken Action Supporting Its Implementation – According to a new survey from the Commonwealth Fund, “49 states and the District of Columbia have already taken action supporting the law’s implementation, such as passing legislation, issuing regulations or other guidance, or actively reviewing insurer filings.” Between January 1, 2010, and January 1, 2012, “23 states and the District of Columbia had taken new legislative or regulatory action on at least one of these reforms” — which include changes like expanding dependent coverage for young adults up to age 26, prohibiting lifetime limits on health benefits, and phasing out annual dollar limits on health benefits — and an additional 26 states had “taken other action to promote compliance with the reforms, such as issuing bulletins to insurers.”

Tuesday morning’s 6 questionably interesting things

1) YOUR 21ST CENTURY REPUBLICAN PARTY:

  • Lindsey Graham on Afghanistan Civilian Massacre: ‘These Things Happen’ – “No, I believe, one, this is tragic and will be investigated, and that soldier will be held accountable for his actions under the military justice system. Unfortunately, these things happen in war. You had an Israeli soldier kill worshippers by the Dome of the Rock mosque. You just have to push through these things.” Yeah, I’m sure if an Afghan national walked into a shopping mall and slaughtered 16 Americans — including 9 children — Graham’s response would be, “Well, sh*t happens. Onward.”
  • Mississippi and Alabama: is this where brain cells go to die? – In Mississippi only 12% of voters think Obama’s a Christian to 52% who think he’s a Muslim and 36% who are not sure. In Alabama just 14% think Obama’s a Christian to 45% who think he’s a Muslim and 41% who aren’t sure. [...] In Mississippi …only 54% of voters think [interracial marriage] should be legal, while 29% believe it should be illegal. [...] Finally there’s considerable skepticism about evolution among GOP voters in both Alabama and Mississippi. In Alabama only 26% of voters believe in it, while 60% do not. In Mississippi just 22% believe in it, while 66% do not.
  • Real Time with Bill Maher correspondent, Alexandra Pelosi interviews Mississippi residents.
  • Why the former half-term governor matters – In a new video released by the Obama team, viewers are reminded of comments Palin made on the air last week. If you missed the clip, Palin’s scathing criticism of the president was blisteringly stupid, even for her, with the argument that the president is “bringing us back … to days before the Civil War.” Yes, Palin seriously expected Fox News viewers to believe the nation’s first African-American president wants to roll back the clock 150 years, to the days when slavery was legal. [...] I wouldn’t be too surprised if Republican leaders and the Romney campaign ask Palin to take a much lower profile in the coming months. Whether Palin honors the request is another matter. WATCH:


2) MITT ROMNEY

  • Romney will not enroll in Medicare – According to BuzzFeed, Romney, who has advocated for the wealthiest Americans to take lower public insurance benefits, announced through his campaign that he would not be apart of the entitlement program. The former Massachusetts governor and his team have repeatedly stated inaccurate information on Medicare throughout the course of the campaign, including claiming Medicare is going “bankrupt” and accusing President Obama of cutting benefits for seniors through the Affordable Care Act. Romney wants to raise the Medicare’s eligibility age up from 65 by one month per year and eventually tie the age to life expectancy.
  • Mitt Romney May Not Need Medicare, But Seniors Do

  • Romney Rules Out Santorum as Veep – Mitt Romney told Fox News that he would not pick Rick Santorum as his running mate because he’s not conservative enough. Said Romney: “Well, that would preclude, of course, Rick Santorum. Because, I mean, look at his record. I find it interesting that he continues to describe himself as the real conservative. This is the guy who voted against right-to-work. This is the guy who voted to fund Planned Parenthood. This is the person who voted to raise the debt ceiling five times? … Rick Santorum is not a person who is an economic conservative to my right.” [image: phroyd]

3) RICK SANTORUM:

  • Santorum’s war on teleprompters – “See, I always believed that when you run for president of the United States, it should be illegal to read off a teleprompter. Because all you’re doing is reading someone else’s words to people. You’re voting for someone who is going to be the leader of our government. It’s important for you to understand who that person is in their own words, see them, look them in the eye…hear what’s (in their) heart. You’re choosing a leader. A leader isn’t just about what’s written on a piece of paper.” || [MB]: Video of Rick Santorum using a teleprompter last month. [TP]: Santorum’s campaign, like those of almost every other politician, employs speechwriters to help draft his public remarks. So he is likely often “reading someone else’s words.”
  • Santorum co-chair: Romney should ‘renounce his racist Mormon religion’ – At a press conference on Monday, Rev. O’Neal Dozier, who is an honorary chairman of Santorum’s Florida campaign, said that he was speaking out to “foster and maintain good race relations here in America.” “The Mormon religion is prejudiced against blacks, Jews and native Americans,” Dozier insisted, adding that Romney’s nomination would widen the racial divide because “the Republican Party would be viewed as a racist political party.” “Romney’s nomination would cause the erroneous view that has long existed in the minds of black people that the Republican Party is prejudiced to become a reality. Why? Because Romney will become the face and the leader of the Republican Party.”
  • Santorum: Endangered Species Act puts ‘critters above people’ – “I know that from personal experience in Pennsylvania, and look at the Central Valley of California. There are so many places that we put critters above people. It’s a radical ideology that says we are here to serve the Earth instead of man having dominion over the Earth to serve him and to be a good steward of that Earth. …I accept the fact that the president’s a Christian. I just said when you have world view that elevates the Earth above man and says that we can’t take those resources because we’re going to harm the Earth like things that are not scientifically proven like the politicization of the whole global warming debate.”
  • “The dangers of carbon dioxide? Tell that to a plant, how dangerous carbon dioxide is,” says Rick Santorum.

4) F&%KING RUSH LIMBAUGH

  • exodusWhat hath Rush wrought? – Limbaugh has become so toxic, major advertisers want to avoid him and other shock jocks who might be as offensive as he is. As John Avlon noted over the weekend, “Rush Limbaugh made the right-wing talk-radio industry, and he just might break it.” [T]he irony is that the same market forces that right-wing talk-radio hosts champion are helping to seal their fate. Advertisers are abandoning the shows because they no longer want to be associated with the hyperpartisan — and occasionally hateful — rhetoric. They are finally drawing a line because consumers are starting to take a stand. [...] When big money starts shifting, it is a sign of a deeper tide that is difficult to undo, even if you are an industry icon like Rush Limbaugh. It is a sign that the times are changing. The free market at work.
  • Corporate America Turns Its Back On Rush Limbaugh – Watching advertisers flee Limbaugh at an alarming rate last week, Beck must have felt a sense of déjà vu regarding the cavalcade of television sponsors who abandoned him after he insulted the president as a “racist.” (Not to mention a socialist -Marxist -Nazi.) It was an advertising exodus that eventually cost Beck his job at Fox News. Like Beck before him, Limbaugh has announced the mass migration is no big deal. Yet like Beck before him, Limbaugh last week learned the overdue lesson that there are real-world consequences for trafficking in hate speech. The talk titan learned there are free-market penalties, such as when companies like Carbonite and AOL walked away from their existing ad commitment to Limbaugh’s show. [...] Imagine how painful the sting must feel for Limbaugh who practically worships at the alter of big business, to know corporate America, via the beloved free marketplace, has spoken so loudly and so clearly about Limbaugh’s creepy, misogynistic taunts of Sandra Fluke.



  • BREAKING: Rush Limbaugh Syndicator Suspends National Ads For Two Weeks – Radio-Info.com reports that Premiere Networks, which syndicates the Rush Limbaugh show, told its affiliate radio stations that they are suspending national advertising for two weeks. Rush Limbaugh is normally provided to affiliates in exchange for running several minutes of national advertisements provided by Premiere each hour. These ads called “barter spots.” These spots are how Premiere makes its money off of Rush Limbaugh and other shows it syndicates. But without explanation, Premiere has supended these national advertisements for two weeks. Radio-Info.com calls the move “unusual.” The development suggests that Rush Limbaugh’s incessant sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke have caused severe damage to the show.

5) WOMEN:

  • N.C. County Kills Family-Planning Funds – The commissioners didn’t think it was right to use taxpayer money to pay for women who want to have sex for non-procreative purposes. From the Star-News: Chairman Ted Davis said he thought it was a sad day when “taxpayers are asked to pay money for contraceptives” for women having sex without planning responsibly. “If these young women are being responsible and didn’t have the sex to begin with, we wouldn’t have this problem to begin with,” Davis said. The New Hanover County decision comes amid a growing debate about contraception and family planning in North Carolina and nationally. Last year, North Carolina’s Republican-led legislature became one of a handful to try and ban state funding for Planned Parenthood.
  • Democrats leading GOP by 25 points among women – A Washington Post survey released Monday found that Democrats are perceived as caring more about issues that are important to women by 25 points, 55 percent to 30 percent. The poll also showed that a large majority of all voters support the idea that businesses should be required to cover the “full cost” of contraception for female employees. Among all voters, 61 percent supported a mandate for birth control coverage, while 35 percent did not. Of those who said contraception should be included in insurance coverage at no cost, 79 percent agreed that religious institutions should not be exempted from the mandate. Overall, 3 percent more voters sided with Obama administration’s policy requiring religious institutions to include birth control in their insurance plans than those who did not. As MSNBC’s Steve Benen noted, 53 percent of voters were women in 2008.

6) MISC

  • South Korean and Russian scientists join to clone woolly mammoth – The South Korean foundation said it would transfer technology to the Russian university, which has already been involved in joint research with Japanese scientists to bring a mammoth back to life. “The first and hardest mission is to restore mammoth cells,” another Sooam researcher, Hwang In-Sung, told AFP. His colleagues would join Russian scientists in trying to find well-preserved tissue with an undamaged gene. By replacing the nuclei of egg cells from an elephant with those taken from the mammoth’s somatic cells, embryos with mammoth DNA could be produced and planted into elephant wombs for delivery, he said. Sooam will use an Indian elephant for its somatic cell nucleus transfer. The somatic cells are body cells, such as those of internal organs, skin, bones and blood. “This will be a really tough job, but we believe it is possible because our institute is good at cloning animals,” Hwang In-Sung said.
  • The Winter That Wasn’t, Part II – This year’s non-winter means an early explosion in bug infestations such as ants, termites, and Lyme disease carrying ticks. But worse than that, it may have wreaked havoc upon the honeybees.
  • CDC Seasonal Flu update – Nine states reported widespread influenza activity (an increase from six states last week). Regional influenza activity was reported by 21 states (an increase from 18 states last week). Twelve states reported local influenza activity (a decrease from 13 states last week). Eight states (a decrease from 12 states last week), the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico reported sporadic influenza activity. The U.S. Virgin Islands reported no influenza activity.

Contagion and vaccines: “We’re one strong pandemic away from a breakdown of the social order…”

“You are at the mercy of viruses that are evolving far faster than we are, and our lives depend on the luck of our genetics, the random permutations of recombination in pathogens, a bit on our efforts in hygiene and social practices, and a great deal on science supplementing our immune systems. We’re one strong pandemic away from a breakdown of the social order, and we rely on science and vaccinations to help protect this tasty giant petri dish of human meat we call planet Earth.” — PZ Myers on the movie Contagion

Source: freethoughtblogs via: sciencecenter

Ron Paul always has me when he talks about ending the wars and military spending…

…but then he keeps talking about other things, and that’s when he loses me again. This past week, I finally realized that Paul is really no different from the teabaggers and fundamentalist RWNJs:

Via Charles Johnson: The hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas in 1900, with winds up to 145 mph, was the deadliest in US history. Official reports put the death toll at about 8,000, but many believe the true number was much higher. So many people were killed that it was impossible to bury them all; the stench of bodies could be smelled for miles. For weeks after the storm, funeral pyres burned as workers kept pulling decomposing corpses from the rubble.

Sounds horrific, doesn’t it? But to Crazy Uncle Ron Paul, those were the good old days.

GILFORD, N.H. — After a lunch speech today, Ron Paul slammed the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, and said that no national response to Hurricane Irene is necessary.

“We should be like 1900; we should be like 1940, 1950, 1960,” Paul said. “I live on the Gulf Coast; we deal with hurricanes all the time. Galveston is in my district.”

And what’s “the most important issue of our age,” according to Paul? Via Matthew Yglesias:

“I talk a lot about right-to-life,” said Paul, who called it “the most important issue of our age.”

[...] President Paul won’t be able to repeal federal drug legislation without backing from Congress, which won’t happen. Like any president, President Paul will need to work with members of Congress and will need to set priorities. The abortion-banning movement clearly has a lot of support in Congress, and I think we should take Paul at his word that his top priority as president will be to work with those forces to try to ban abortions.

His desire to send the world economy into a new depression with tight money policies is also something many members of Congress back, as is his view that U.S. policy toward unauthorized migrants should become harsher. These, rather than big picture drug law reform, are the likely domestic policy outputs of a Paul administration. The good news is that he’d likely pursue a very restrained foreign policy for four years until the depression induced by his monetary and fiscal policy ideas led to a new administration.

But Paul’s most recent pronouncement is really the final straw for me — he clarifies in the video below that he doesn’t believe in evolution.


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Via Matthew Yglesias: [...] a lot of progressives seem to be slightly confused as to who Ron Paul is. They think he’s like that one rich uncle you have, shares a lot of your basic values but hates paying taxes and seems to take a dim view of poor people. The reality is that Paul is much closer to Pat Buchanan, a socially conservative nationalist whose idea of nationalist foreign policy is to withdraw troops from South Korea and deploy them to the Mexican border. Given what a strong force nationalism is in American life, I do wish that we had more nationalist isolationism and less nationalist enthusiasm for global contrast. But Paul’s view is that the quest to ban abortion is “the most important issue of our age,” his signature economic policy idea (“End the Fed!”) is a crank slogan that has nothing to do with free market economics, etc. Fortunately, in Paultopia there won’t be any public schools, federal funding of scientific research, etc., so it probably doesn’t matter what he believes in evolution.

Paultopia sounds a lot like Bachmanntown, Romneyfield and Fort Perry — all suburbs of Bushville. I wouldn’t want to live near any of them.

Beck: “I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half-person yet”

“I don’t think we came from monkeys. I think that’s ridiculous. I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half-person yet”

- Glenn Beck: Evolution Is ‘Ridiculous’

TPM via Brooklyn Mutt

Did Glenn miss Bristol Palin on DWTS? (Click image for video):

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(Video) Christine O’Donnell: Evolution is a myth

Her proof? Why aren’t monkeys still evolving into humans?

LGF

Evolution of the GOP